Customer relationships are replacing traditional marketing.
How are your relationships with your friends/followers? This is an important question to ask yourself regularly. It isn’t stressed enough how important it is to build relationships with other people. Do you respond back to people and engage with them when they comment on your post or reply to your story? Do you give authentic responses, or do you copy/paste your replies to save time? Putting a bit of thought and effort into your responses, and even responding AT ALL can make a huge difference. Maybe it’s even as simple as sending a direct message to someone you discovered saying hi and telling them how much you love their page. Human connection is BIG.
I recently read in Harvard Business School’s 10 Must Reads on Stratetic Marketing that building customer relationships is becoming the new marketing. Most companies have a product-driven mindset where they have a product that they push out to a large, wide variety of prospective customers, hoping that a number of them will buy the product they’re marketing. They advertise based on numbers with the hopes that a higher number of people exposed to the product will mean a higher return on purchases. But what if there’s a more personal way to sell?
Instead of pushing a product onto a wide array of people, why not build a relationship with them instead and share something you know they’d like? “Traditional marketing [departments] must be reconfigured as a customer department that puts building customer relationships ahead of pushing specific products1.” I found this idea very interesting and insightful. This was a very relevant idea for me to learn because I am seeing more and more proof of this both in the corporate world and social media influencing world. The stronger relationship you have with a customer, the more trust and loyalty they will have to purchase and continue to repurchase from you.
I have personally noticed this idea of building relationships to be most evident through my social media influencing. Generally speaking, many companies want influencers with large followings, typically a minimum of 10,000+ followers in order to do any sort of collaboration with them (paid or for product). They want as many people as possible to see their product, so the more followers the better – push that product out to as many people as possible. Or people think that popular influencers with large followings won’t follow you if you don’t have a lot of followers. But what if we focussed on CONNECTION instead of numbers? How many people truly connect with you? How many of your followers would trust you enough to buy something from you? The more connected they feel to you, the more likely they are to support you, and to purchase in the future.
I have under 1,500 followers and I have already worked with at least 5 companies and have 5 big-name influencers from Atlanta following me. This happened because I engaged with them and built relationships through conversation. I’m not even 20% of the way to the “minimum” requirement and have already found success because of the relationships I have created. I want this to be encouragement to all of you that just because you feel you “don’t have enough” of X, Y, Z, does not mean something will not happen. Sometimes I wonder how someone with 200k+ followers would follow me with under 2k, and then I remind myself it’s because I would constantly comment on her photos and reply to her stories. And I kept doing it consistently, and authentically – not just a “cute!” comment – actually putting thought into each response.
These relationships I have created with friends and followers online have led me to successes I wouldn’t think I would have. And you can have this too. Engage. Conversate. Interact. Be real and connect with people and they will connect back with you in time.
If you have any questions on building relationships with friends/followers, feel free to message me on Instagram @justjstylinlife.
Looking forward to learning more 🙂
1Rust, Roland T, et al. HBRs 10 Must Reads on Strategic Marketing (with Featured Article Marketing Myopia, by Theodore Levitt), Page 9. Harvard Business Review Press, 2013.